Cypress Lakes Golf Club’s course was designed by William Amick to rise and fall across the natural landscape for 6,396 yards of fairways hugged by gentle waters and towering trees. Unlike most Floridian links, the course unfurls across somewhat mountainous terrain, where cresting hilltops can obscure distant targets, leading to blind shots that aren’t just the result of opponents kicking sand in your eyes. Fairways bob and weave around groves of leyland cypress trees, more than 300 crepe myrtle trees, and 500 lush azaleas, giving advantage to players who can work drives and approaches around the arboreal impediments. A circuit of streams ebbs and flows across the picturesque par 71, adding to the native obstacles and striking fear into the caramel hearts of hydrophobic golf balls. A roaming beverage cart slakes midround thirsts, and the club also boasts a driving range with grass hitting areas and a fully stocked pro shop.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by William Amick * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,396 yards from farthest tees * Course rating of 70.4 from farthest tees * Slope rating of 118 from farthest tees * Four tee options
Winding through dense, verdant forests, the peaceful waters of the Perdido River form an aquatic highway for Perdido Natural Adventures' fleet of canoes, kayaks, and tubes. The company's rental watercrafts facilitate journeys into the natural habits and underground gambling rings of bald eagles, wild turkeys, beaver, and deer. As vessels float along the bass-filled river, white sand beaches beckon adventurers to swim and play in the water. Perdido Natural Adventures' shuttle facilitates each expedition, carrying rentals or customers' own vessels from Fran's Country Grill to various launch points along the river. The staff can also arrange overnight camping trips with the centaurs that manage the forest.
Housed in a yellow barn, Batter's Box Family Fun Center is a flourishing farm with batting cages and miniature-golf challenges. At the 18-hole, tropical-themed Adventure Island Course, miniature golfers move their tiny feet past putting obstacles that include fountains and the shipwreck of the S.S. Minnow. At the fun center's five batting cages, softballs and baseballs catapult themselves at bat-wielding hitters. Having chosen between softballs and baseballs, batters can pick their cage based on its pitch speed, which ranges from a slow softball arch to a 70-mph fastball. Those looking to host group events or celebrate their birthdays at Batter's Box can rent an upstairs party room where guests mingle and indulge in gourmet cupcakes.
More sweets abound at So-Yo Frozen Yogurt Shop, a haven of self-serve frozen treats that boasts 15 different flavors on a given day. Guests crown crested caps of yogurt with 30-plus toppings before kicking back on a country-style outdoor deck to revel in their custom creation.
The Breeze Cinema 8 and The Ridge Cinema 8 may be independently owned, but they keep up with technological advances as well as any megaplex. Both theaters present the latest Hollywood blockbusters in crisp DLP-digital projection and resounding audio from Meyer Sound speakers. Select flicks are even rendered in RealD 3D, which sends heart-pounding car chases racing over the audience's stadium seats and lets Steven Spielberg's name gently graze your cheek.
The theaters have occasionally attracted big-name visitors in the flesh, including veteran Marcus Luttrell, the real-life model for Mark Wahlberg's character in Lone Survivor. It also occasionally plays special sing-along versions of family movies such as Frozen.
The rumble of rolling spheres serves as a baritone harmony to gleeful shouts at the seats that surround Oops Alley's gleaming lanes. Bowling shoes glide against the wood as patrons take turns knocking down pins in competitions to earn the highest scores or disprove a law of Newtonian physics. Karaoke nights put visiting lungs to use, and a variety of other events lures bowlers away from vendettas with their wooden nemeses. An arcade fuels between-frame score settling with Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution machines that ooze digital melody near a bank of pool tables. A full bar and concession stand whets whistles, and a big-screen television stands tall, waiting to broadcast important athletic competitions or the winner of the Fred Flintstone look-alike contest.
At Riviera Fitness Center, a team of personal trainers helps guests achieve fitness goals via the facility’s huge selection of workout equipment. The gym boasts a variety of free weights and more than 50 cardio machines, as well as separate studios for spinning, Zumba dance fitness, and boxing classes.